The beginnings of everything and anything is always very small and slow. Often unseen or even unrealised at the very start. The miracle of life begins in a tiny human egg. Today is the Epiphany of Our Lord; the manifestation of Jesus to the whole world began as such with only a few wise men and the good news travelled slowly on the back of camels. Since then faith has exploded in magnitude reaching the ends of the earth.
An epiphany is defined as “a moment of sudden intuitive understanding; flash of insight” or a faith experience of “the manifestation or appearance of a divine reality”.
Today we take down the tree and pack away our Christmas decorations for another year. We can consciously choose to be like the magi and bring the Christmas light to the people who make up our world or we can sub-consciously extinguish it by returning into the routine of our secular life.
How lighted and bright is our faith life? Is our faith life only manifested by our routine appearance at church on Sundays? Often we did not mean for our faith life to be in such routine appearance. The flow of our personal life had just brought us to a stage where faith is such for us. It is routine and nothing too exciting. But when we do not consciously attend to our faith life it will slowly drift into darkness.
Today the Epiphany of Our Lord happens in this context. When we drift away from faith we enter a spiritual darkness. As we go further away the light that we know begins to fade. Soon, without realising we are enveloped in darkness and we lose connection with God and the church. Hence we must consciously search for our own personal epiphany.
When people to return to church or when they become more active in their faith life, we find that their newness always begin from a personal epiphany. Returning Catholics experience divine reality when they find love. Often they find it in a welcoming and non-judgmental environment that culminates in experiencing the divine in the sacrament of reconciliation. This is the moment when the child Jesus appear in the details of their personal life. This encounter becomes a conversion experience.
An epiphany is an encounter with God. Often it is found in the more vulnerable chapters of our life. Sometimes out of shame we have pushed them into the hidden recesses of our heart. An epiphany make us feel loved, initially unbelievingly so, as we feel so unworthy. We find it incredible that God is forgiving every weakness of ours so much so that we need time to come to terms with experiencing his unconditional love. It takes away shame and brings about healing. We cannot believe that God is so near. Then comes the realisation that he has always been there in our daily life, unseen and unrealised, waiting for us to experience an epiphany.
We must search for our epiphany; this explosion of faith that will be the beginnings of a new, meaningful and fulfilling faith journey. There is a desire in every heart for an epiphany, small and tiny that desire may be. To begin our search, we only need to be conscious to this desire to bring it miraculously to life.
The Epiphany of Our Lord